Ligue 1 Round 26 Results: Lille continue fine form, as high-flyers Nice blossom

Rudi Garcia's men continued their rise up the table thanks to in-form Dimitri Payet. Elsewhere, Lyon maintained their title charge, as Nancy's woes continue against Saint-Etienne

Nice's European push continued as they comfortably saw off Stade de Reims 2-0 at Stade du Ray, to move to within a point of third-placed Olympique de Marseille.

Mickael Tacalfred's tackle on Alexy Bosetti saw the referee hand the hosts a penalty inside 10 minutes, with the spot-kick duly converted by Valentin Eysseric.

Nemanja Pecjinovic saw a header well saved by Kossi Agassa, before Reims were dealt a setback with Aissa Mandi shown a second yellow card for a wayward lunge.

Renato Civelli wrapped up the points late on with a cool header as last year's relegation strugglers continue their fine form with a fourth victory in five.


Rennes' hopes of securing a top-four position was dealt a further blow as they were held to a 2-2 draw with Sochaux, whose relegation worries continue to be eased as the weeks go by.

Following on from their shock 3-2 win over PSG last weekend, coach Eric Hely insisted his side start with the same gusto, and it was the case when Giovanni Sio who opened the scoring with a good finish after 21 minutes.

John Boye equalised for the hosts, who were noticeably lethargic without Romain Alessandrini, but Sebastian Corchia's brilliant strike nudged the visitors back into the lead.

Nevertheless, the Coupe de la Ligue finalists were not to be denied, as Jean Makoun bundled home a late equaliser to claim a share of the spoils.


Lille's resurgence in form continued as they picked up a straightforward 3-1 victory over Ajaccio in Corsica on Saturday evening.

The hosts took the lead seven minutes before half-time with Lucas Digne's threatening low ball - in the path of Salomon Kalou - was turned in by Yann Poulard for an own goal.

Ajaccio, unbeaten in 2013 before this weekend, stepped up after the break, and were boosted when Digne was shown, perhaps harshly, a straight red card for a challenge on Mathieu Chalme.

Nevertheless, that only angered Lille who punished their opponents on the break, with in-form Dimitri Payet enjoying another stellar game as his flowing attacking move ended with his ninth league goal from an easy header.

Payet scored again soon after, rounding up 10 goals with his 10 league assists, before Chakhir Belghazouani's late curler proved only a consolation.


Coupe de la Ligue finalists Saint-Etienne remain in the chasing pack for an unlikely Champions League spot, as they comfortably beat struggling Nancy 3-0 at Stade Marcel Picot.

The hosts look almost certain for the drop, after yet another luckless performance in front of goal brought about a third straight league defeat, after a previous resurgence at the end of January.

Brandao and Pierre Emerick Aubemayng both beat Damien Gregorini to cement a comfortable half-time lead, with the Gabonese international finding the net for the fifth game in a row.

Fabien Lemoine was sent off for a crushing challenge on Vincent Muratori, as Aubemayang slammed the crossbar, before Ligue 1 debutant Florent Zitte was also shown his marching orders, a mere 19 minutes into his first French top-flight encounter.

Nevertheless, Aubameyang sealed a comfortable win with his second of the night, his sixth in the last five, with a minute to go.


Like Lille, champions Montpellier's recent resurgance in form continued with a narrow 1-0 victory over troubled Evian at the Parc des Sports.

Younes Belhanda's 80th minute goal settled proceedings, as it brought about Montpellier's first ever win over their hosts.

Earlier, Yannick Sagbo and Daniel Wass tested Geoffrey Jourdren, before Anthony Mounier was easily thwarted by Bertrand Laquait.

The result puts Montpellier in a decent position to make a late push for European qualification, as Evian remain in the bottom three.


Both Bastia and Troyes will be frustrated with the 0-0 draw played out at Stade de l'Aube which sees neither side profit as the relegation worries deepen.

Althought it was a rare clean sheet for each side, both Sambou Yatabare and Jerome Rothen - from an audacious overhead kick - should have done better in testing Yohann Thuram-Ulien.

For the visitors, Marcos' pin-point header was batted away by Mickael Landreau, who also denied the hosts on various occasions as the points were shared.


Both Valenciennes and Toulouse's European hopes appear to be over after a stale 0-0 draw at Stade du Hainaut meant that they fall further behind the chasing pack.

The two sides remain in 11th and 12th position, a mammoth 12 points behind fourth place Nice, ending realistic hopes of making the Europa League.

Carlos Sanchez spurned Valenciennes' best chance, though Franck Tabanou should've done better with Etienne Didot's superb pass, as a surprisingly turgid match, unsurprisingly ended 0-0.


Lyon moved moved on from a heartbreaking Europa League exit to Tottenham on Thursday by moving level on points - at least, provisionally - with PSG at the top.

Jeremie Aliadiere opened the scoring for the visitors, though Lisandro Lopez fired in an equaliser just 13 minutes later in a topsy-turvy first half.

Rachid Ghezzal bundled in from a rebound after Fabien Audard parried away Alexandre Lacazette's initial shot five minutes after the break to hand Remi Garde's side the advantage.

Enzo Reale was unsuccessful in beating Remy Vercoutre, though at the other end, Arnold Mvuemba came off the bench to score against his former side in stoppage time to seal victory.


Another side whose European aspirations took a major hit this weekend was Bordeaux, who were surprised 2-0 by Brest, in their second consecutive home defence at Stade Chaban Delmas.

Despite making the Europa League round of 16 with a win over Dynamo Kiev, they went behind thanks to Benoit Tremoulinas' own goal.

Jonathan Ayite's lob over Cedric Carrasso should've brought about the second, but failed to bundle home, before Ahmed Kantari sealed the win from the spot after Larsen Traore had been fouled by Lamine Sane.

Brest remain in 14th place, away from the relegation zone, as Bordeaux's hopes of reaching the second pan-European competition next season hangs in the balance.